The top speed is a relatively modest 108 mph, and the 0-62 mph acceleration time of just under 12 seconds is adequate but not exactly rapid.
The origins of the Chevrolet Aveo are deceptive. With that distinctive Chevy golden bow-tie badge on its nose, this is a car that you might well expect to have come from the United States. Not so: it is built in South Korea, a budget supermini with its roots in the now-defunct Daewoo brand that was owned by General Motors.
This car’s predecessor was the Daewoo Kalos, but that was before GM replaced it with a new model and rebadged it as a Chevrolet. The Aveo is a five-door hatchback supermini, intended to woo buyers away from similar sized European superminis such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Renault Clio.
The Aveo is available with either petrol or diesel engines, in a price range from £9,995 to £13,615. The version we test here is the interesting high-economy Ecodiesel, with a £12,795 price tag and an impressive combined fuel economy figure of 78.4 mpg, making it one of the most frugal cars on the market.
Chevrolet has 93 UK dealers and a four model range. As well as the Aveo, the range includes the Spark hatchback, boldly-styled Cruze saloon, the Orlando seven-seater MPV and the Captiva SUV. By the end of 2012 another five models are joining the Chevrolet stable: the Cruze estate car, Volt electric car, and the high-performance muscle cars, the Camaro and Corvette.
The Aveo is no ball of fire, but it performs quite reasonably for a small, modestly powered car. The 1.3 litre diesel engine is a 16-valve unit with a 94 bhp power output peaking at 4,000 rpm, and 140 lb ft of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. On the road that translates into performance that is adequately lively for the type of car it is, but won’t excite any latent boy racer instinct in you.
The top speed is a relatively modest 108 mph, and the 0-62 mph acceleration time of just under 12 seconds is adequate but not exactly rapid. Power delivery is smooth and linear, though, and with judicious use of the gears to stoke the performance it is a perfectly pleasant little car to drive. It also has the advantage of far less frequent visits to the fuel pumps than most other cars. The CO2 output is 95 g/km, so there is no charge for the annual road tax disc, and the car is exempt from the London congestion charge.